Letters to Juliet
of love are difficult to express. This is why women from all over the
world come to visit a particular courtyard in Verona, Italy, dedicated
to Shakespeare’s Juliet, leaving behind letters that seek advice in
matters of love. I too would very much like to make a confession
regarding an affair I’ve had with Letters to Juliet – possibly
one of the cheesiest romantic comedies to be released this year, and
yet, one that I couldn’t help enjoying against my better judgement.
(Amana Seyfried) is a fact checker/wannabe journalist who goes on what
is meant to be a romantic holiday to Italy with her fiancé, Victor (Gael
García Bernal). Abandoned by Victor due to his work commitments, Sophie
discovers the courtyard of love-angst ridden letters addressed to
Romeo’s Juliet, which are then collected and responded to by a group of
women who call themselves ‘the secretaries of Juliet.’ Upon discovering
a letter that had been untouched and unanswered for fifty years,
Sophie’s reply inspires the letter’s author, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave),
to return to Italy and find her lost love with Sophie’s help.
Accompanied by her grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan), who happens to
be a sceptic about true love, the three embark on a road trip that tests
their views, hopes and ideals when it comes to real romance.
The film is
definitely a miss, but a hit in being such an awful film. With lines
such as “Do you believe in destiny?” combined with tearful look-aways,
Letters to Juliet stays true to simply being nothing more than a
terrible romantic flick as it doesn’t overreach in comedy or make an
effort to overcome clichés. It’s easy to watch with a dead brain and low
expectations, and since this is what some people look for in a film,
Letters to Juliet more than adequately fulfils that demand. With
scenic shots of the Italian countryside that look as though they came
straight out of a tourism brochure, and a smooth, comfortable Hollywood
style of editing, Letters to Juliet doesn’t experiment visually
in any way, shape or form – something that audiences have come to expect
and accept when it comes to romantic comedies of today. To put it simply
- Letters to Juliet is the kind of movie that unashamedly belts
out Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ when it comes to climactic moments. And
with soaring classical music that highlights idealistic notions of love,
every note and shot is struck in accordance with the themes of the film
and the atmosphere of a romanticised Italy.
If you’re a
rom-com cynic and end up hating the film, I wouldn’t recommend the
special features. With detailed interviews of director Gary Winick,
producer Ellen Barkin and the cast, the making of Letters to Juliet
covers everything from the original concept, casting decisions, Italy as
a location for shooting, and even what the cast and crew think of love.
It all seems a bit soppy and as deluded as the film itself, but the
special features also includes the history and story behind Juliet’s
courtyard, which is not only genuinely interesting but additionally
sheds light on the appeal of the film and what would have inspired the
cast and crew to make the film in the first place.
lovers may embrace the film, I feel unwell from the experience and
doubly guilty for not verbally stabbing it in the heart. Am I
suppressing an attraction for chick flicks?! For those who crave cheesy
lines and overtly sentimental romances, you will fall in love. For those
of you, like me, who are a little more cynical with acute gag reflexes
to rom-coms, dare yourself to take a fling with Letters to Juliet.
Who knows, you might end up loving it.